Mastering Mental Transformation: A Guide to Cognitive Restructuring

The cognitive restructuring allows you to reestablish balance in life, enabling you to get rid of tormented thoughts about the positive things in life. Let’s see some of the terms associated with Cognitive Restructuring so that you will receive a taste of what it is about.

What is Cognition?

Cognition is described as a mental process of acquiring information and giving meaning or understanding by virtue of thought, experience, and the senses. Therefore, it is a structured process of learning it forms the basis of our core beliefs and how we develop automatic thoughts in a specific situation.

What is Maladaptation?

Maladaptation is an inability to form new concepts or change existing ones. It is possible that one can develop maladaptation or distortion in case of unexpected experiences. These distorted thoughts usually give rise to negative emotions. They may feel rational but only serve to maintain the negative energy and cycle of thoughts.

What is Cognitive Restructuring?

Cognitive restructuring is a process of changing your way of thinking about a situation. This type of skill helps you to see things in a unique way. You might use it to cope with problems such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, or uncomfortable feelings such as fear, loneliness, and anger.

It is also known as Cognitive Reframing. Cognitive restructuring is a therapeutic technique that helps you manage your thoughts and emotions. cognitive reframing involves adjusting your thought process and making you think positively.

Cognitive restructuring can be helpful for dealing with stressful situations, coping with difficult emotions, and improving your mood. Cognitive reframing can be particularly useful when they are having problems dealing with tricky situations, such as the death of a loved one, or coping with their own emotions.

Cognitive Restructuring and Reframing

Cognitive Restructuring and Reframming

Common cognitive distortions and negative thoughts

When you are feeling down, it is easy to get stuck in a negative thought spiral. This cognitive distortion can lead to inaccurate thoughts and beliefs. These negative thoughts can make us feel bad about ourselves and the world around us. Breaking out of the negative mindset can be tough,

Let us take a closer look at the most common cognitive distortions.

  • Over-generalization

    Over-generalization is when a person takes a single event or experience and applies it to other situations. For example, if someone has a terrible experience with one person, they might start believing that all people are untrustworthy.

  • Magnification

    is when a person exaggerates the importance of things, making them seem much bigger or worse than they really are.

  • All-or-nothing thinking

    All-or-nothing thinking is when people see things in black-and-white terms, with no middle ground. For example, someone might believe that if they make one mistake then they are a total failure.

  • Emotional Reasoning

    Emotional Reasoning is when people make decisions based on emotions rather than logic. For example, someone might decide to go out with friends because they really want to be happy. When we are aware of our Automatic Thought Processes (ATPs), we can use them to make better decisions.

  • Magical Thinking

    Magical Thinking is when people believe that things can happen by themselves, without any help from other people. Magical thinking is when people think that something that did not really happen did happen so it must have been a sign from God, or the Universe that this was going to be the right decision.

  • Catastrophizing

    Catastrophizing is likely to happen when a person is stressed out, or not in control of their emotions. Catastrophizing is when people think that a situation is worse than it really is. Cognitive Dissonance happens when we are trying to do something, but our mind keeps saying that we should not be doing it.

  • Personalization 

    Personalization is when people think that they are responsible for other people’s behaviour and think that other people are responsible for their own behaviour. Living in the past is when a person thinks they will never change or improve themselves.

How Cognitive Restructuring can help you?

One way to start overcoming these negative thoughts is to become aware of the cognitive distortions that often contribute to them. Cognitive distortions are inaccurate thoughts or ways of thinking that lead us to perceive things in a negative light.

  1. Identify the negative thought or belief (e.g., “It’s impossible for me to succeed”). Once you have identified the distorted information, you can then challenge that information by replacing it with more accurate beliefs or thoughts (e.g., “It is possible for me to succeed”).
  2. Identify automatic thoughts and assumptions that are causing the problem Identify the emotion (e.g., resentment). Identify a negative intention (e.g., “I want to punish myself” or “I want to punish others”)
  3. Examine your thought process (e.g., “How did I come to this thought?”). Evaluate your emotional reaction or response
  4. Challenging negative thinking patterns is to change negative thoughts to positive ones and increase your self-confidence and belief that you can succeed
  5. Replace unhelpful beliefs with more balanced ways of thinking. Identifying the reality of the problem and realigning your beliefs to match what you know to be true. Consider that you are not alone in feeling this way.
  6. Monitor your progress Identify what helps you feel better and speeds up your recovery. Monitor your progress, note changes in attitude and behaviour and celebrate the small wins (e.g., feeling better just knowing that you are doing something to change).
  7. If you are not getting better, seek professional help.

WellForWork Can Help

We have all experienced anxiety, but it does not have to rule our lives. Cognitive restructuring can help you identify the unhelpful thinking patterns that are causing your anxiety and replace them with more balanced ways of thinking.

Our team at WellForWork can help you and your colleagues in gaining the skill of cognitive restructuring to improve your quality of life by using the freedom you are able to gain from dwelling on your negative thoughts. Please see the contact info if you would like to discuss this matter further.

Continue reading: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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